What Do I Need to Prove in a Product Liability Case?
Consumers who purchase products do it with the assumption that they will be safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 2014 about 252,000 injuries to children came about due to a dangerous or defective product. California law allows for product liability lawsuits to be filed so people have the potential to get damages from those involved in the manufacturing, distribution, or retail side of a product. The statue of limitations is two years after the incident for personal injury and three years for damage to property. These types of cases can be confusing and you may find it helpful to consult with a Riverside product liability attorney.
Compensation is decided based on the pure comparative fault standard, which means people could still recover damages even if they are found to be partially responsible for the injury or damage. Those looking to file a Riverside product liability case should be very meticulous in securing all documents, photos, medical records, and bills associated with the product in question and the injury. They should also consider consulting with and/or working with a Riverside product liability attorney.
What Do I Have to Prove in A Case?
There are a few things that plaintiffs in a product liability case have to prove. California law is unique in comparison to other states because of its strict liability rule. The rule says that someone filing a claim must only prove that an injury was caused by a defect in a product in order to win a case.
Products that are generally not covered in strict product liability law include items that are already inherently unsafe, medical devices, and prescription drugs. However, there are exceptions, if for example, a drug manufacturer was negligent in the design of a drug.
Those filing a Riverside product liability case due to a manufacturing defect must show there was a flaw in the process as the item was being created. With those filed due to a design defect, there are two tests that can be used to see if something was defectively designed.
The first test has to do with consumer expectation. A plaintiff must show that the defective product did not safely perform or operate like one would expect while using it in a reasonable manner, and then they must show that the injury was due to the defect in the product.
The second test concerns risk. A defendant in the product liability case will have to show that the utility of their product supersedes any design risk if the plaintiff can show that the defective product led to injury. Factors here could include the feasibility of a different design, or the disadvantages that would be found in a ‘safer’ alternative.
What Are the Defenses in A Product Liability Case?
Manufactures have the ability to use two different defenses in California to argue against fault in a case. They can try to claim that a plaintiff misused or changed a product in a way that was not feasible, which led to injury, or they can argue that the product’s user had enough experience with the item to reasonably know that the product was dangerous.
Posted in: Defective Products